Over 80 million tourists visited Spain in 2017


2017 was yet another record-breaking year for Spanish tourism, according to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda. Spain was the second most visited country in the world, having surpassed the USA, second only to France.

The most visited region in the country was Catalonia, with millions flocking to Barcelona or to the beautiful coastlines of the Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada.

Valencia also fared very well with an inbound tourist increase of 18%. While still a long way behind Catalonia in numbers, this represents an enormous increase on 2016 and many believe the city struggled to cope with it. An increase in people means a large increase in the local economy but also an increase in litter, an increase in prices and an increase in pollution. People in many regions in Spain protested against the vastness of the tourist industry, in some cases vandalizing property related to the industry, such as rented bicycles.

The airport at Manises now offers direct flights from many more destinations including the UK, Germany, Italy, Holland and Belgium. Budget airlines and affordable accommodation increase the ease of travel to Valencia, which already boasts a near-perfect climate, is a good sized city and is also a genuine beach destination. With numbers set to increase, how will the city cope?

Car and scooter rentals are a very popular way of enjoying the city, especially if Valencia is not the only destination on a holiday.  Unfortunately, they pollute the environment and more cars and scooters make for dirtier air. Some companies offer electric cars and scooters, which are far cleaner, but the infrastructure still needs to catch up in order to recharge the batteries.

For those staying closer to or in Valencia, bike rental has become very popular.
With hundreds of kilometres of bicycle lanes, it is a safe and green way to see the city and surrounding areas. BikeAlao is a bike rental company in Valencia which also offers tours of the city and surrounding areas. The city also has a bike rental scheme, which can be very handy from getting from A to B as you can leave the bike at your destination.

With more cruise ships and flights coming to Valencia, the numbers will only increase and rental prices are also likely to increase. There will be a greater number of petrol stations offering recharging services for scooters and cars but for now, we can easily move around the city quietly and cleanly by bike. As long as we are fit and healthy, what better alternative is there?

Are you a responsible tourist?
 

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